McQueen  Textile Research Group

Department of Human Ecology, University of Alberta

About Our Research

Dr. McQueen is a clothing and textile scientist in human ecology. Her research centres on the physical and physiological interface between humans and textiles, and the complex issues that arise when textiles are worn against the human body. She seeks to advance understanding of how textiles perform when being worn and used by people. As an experimentalist, Dr. McQueen takes a positivist approach to research as she observes how a textile behaves under various conditions. As a human ecologist, Dr. McQueen's research is not restricted to the laboratory. It often involves carrying out wear trials in field conditions in order to examine the interactions between human subjects and their clothing in real life conditions. This holistic, human ecological approach defines her research philosophy and background.


Dr. McQueen was trained in a rigorous, multi-disciplined approach to research at the University of Otago, and has continued to hone her skills at the University of Alberta. She has been influenced by the research approach of her graduate supervisor Professor Raechel Laing at the University of Otago, and by the work conducted by Dr Betty Crown, Professor Emeritus in Human Ecology at the University of Alberta. Their holistic, human ecological methods to evaluating clothing comfort and protection while forming strong collaborations with experts in other disciplines are vital to get the best results. Dr. McQueen has learned to approach research in clothing and textiles with a focus on understanding of how human behaviour and preferences in clothing choices are shaped by the social, physical and physiological factors of everyday life, and in particular, the hazards of the work environment. 

Rachel McQueen and jeans swabbing